Next up in our serious about the Hike it Baby 30 November winners is Debbie Williams. Debbie and her daughter Eastyn are members of our Vancouver Washington group! Debbie says the challenge really motivated them to get outside during a dreary November! They are the lucky winners of a pair of Adidas Mountain Sport Hiking Shoes; Perfect for when Eastyn begins leading Toddler-Led Hikes!
Keep reading to find out Debbie’s tips for travelling light while hiking with baby!
Tell us about your favorite hike in the world
There is definitely one hike that will always stand out in my mind. In August 2013 my husband and I did an overnight backpacking trip on the Killen Creek Trail up to High Camp on Mt. Adams. It was not only the most beautiful hike I’ve done, but also one of the most challenging, physically and mentally. There was a section right at the end where the trail was very narrow along the edge of a steep dropoff and covered with shale rock, which I find pretty unstable to hike on; I’m constantly thinking I’m going to slip and fall down the side of the cliff, but slow and steady I made it! The view at the end was well worth it and I felt like I had faced a fear. Of course, I was then thinking I’d have to make it back down that section the next day, but going down always seems easier than going up. This trip is also memorable because it was our last backpacking trip as a couple, and also where our daughter was conceived, which I think is pretty awesome!
Tell us what you like about Hike it Baby
What I have enjoyed the most about Hike it Baby is meeting so many other like-minded mamas! I really connected with the Hike it Baby promo video. I was that new mama Shanti described that was caught between friends that have older children and friends that were not going to have children. I wanted to join a mom’s group, but didn’t want to be pushing a stroller around the mall or sitting in a Starbucks. I kept telling my husband that I wished I could meet other new moms that enjoyed the outdoors and hiking, and then I reconnected with a friend I went to school with years ago (who also was a new mom) and she told me about Hike it Baby! I signed up immediately and started going on hikes. It was great to get outside, even in the chilly Pacific NW Fall and Winter, and meet other first-time mamas. I’ve also met several moms right in my area that also have daughters that are the same age as mine. It’s going to be so fun watching our daughters grow up and develop a love and respect for nature. I’m definitely looking forward to toddler walks this upcoming Summer when my baby girl starts walking!
What is the best advice for a new hiking family?
My best advice: Don’t let the name “Hike it Baby” fool you! Even if you are new to hiking, there are such a range of walks/hikes for different skill levels, so anyone can join our group and fit in!
Got a favorite trail trick?
On hikes where I need to bring diaper supplies or other baby items, I have carried my daughter in her carrier on the front and on my back I use a small backpack to bring a compact changing pad, a diaper or two, a few wipes in a Ziploc baggie and a plastic grocery bag for the dirty stuff. The backpack I use was made to carry a water bag with a straw tube that comes up out of it. I removed the water bag and now it’s a mini diaper bag. I’m all about travelling light!
Why is it important to you to have your kiddo out in nature?
I want to provide my daughter with experiences I didn’t have as a child. I didn’t grow up in an “outdoorsy” family. It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I discovered I enjoyed hiking, camping, backpacking, etc. I think children are naturally drawn to nature and the outdoors so I want to provide plentiful opportunities during her childhood for her to explore nature, learn about wildlife and develop a respect and admiration of the natural beauty all around us. I want her to know that nature provides us with peace, calm and stillness that we are lacking in our modern lives. Being in nature is so crucial to the physical and mental well-being of the now overly domesticated “human animal”. We need the fresh air, the sunshine and the natural physical movement that exploring the outdoors gives us.
What kind of gear do you always suggest people get?
Good hiking shoes made for your terrain of choice. I’ve recently developed an addiction to minimalistic footwear and there are some great minimalistic hiking shoes out there. Unless you hike on the beach, then go barefoot! And since I got an Onya baby carrier recently, I can’t stop singing it’s praises!
What dream outdoors trip do you want to do?
My husband and I have talked for years about doing a major roadtrip hitting several spots like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and several national parks in Utah to hike and camp, but have yet to do it. Maybe when our daughter gets a bit older we’ll finally make it happen!
How stoked are you about your win!? How will you use it?
I was super stoked to win! I wasn’t expecting it! I won a pair of children’s hiking shoes. My girl isn’t walking yet, and I requested the shoes in a larger size so she won’t be wearing them for a while, but they’ll be worn on many hikes someday.
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